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Emmys Producer Responds to Seth Rogen's Covid Bit: 'An Unfortunate Misdirect From Him.'

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Early on during Sunday night's Emmy Awards, a newly shaven Seth Rogen took the stage to deliver what likely ended up as the night's only impromptu bit. (That didn't involve Conan O'Brien, of course.)

"Let me start by saying, there’s way too many of us in this little room. What are we doing? They said this was outdoors. It's not," he said. "They lied to us. We're in a hermetically-sealed tent right now. I would not have come to this. Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than that we make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided.”

First of all: We love ourselves a good Rogen giggle, but if the whole bit had you thinking the Emmys producers were somewhere in the building nervously tugging on their collars, then you were absolutely right. In an interview between Variety and Emmys producers Ian Stewart and Reginald Hudlin, Stewart confirmed that Rogen went off-script on Sunday night. Not only that, but Stewart voiced what seems like a fairly significant amount of frustration over the whole ordeal, telling Variety that Rogen's words made the “many discussions to get [health protocols] right feel a little bit wasted." Here's what he said:

“We have worked for months and months to make that a safe space... We’ve worked with all the health authorities. We were signed off by LA County, we came up with a plan with them. Those tables were distanced. Everyone was vaccinated. Everyone was negative tested in that audience. And also he had rehearsed. So he knew exactly what it was. So, I just felt it was an unfortunate misdirect from him. Because it wasn’t just our decision. This is the health authorities’ decision as well, to say that it’s a completely safe environment if you do all those things.”

Sure, it feels like anything is fair game when Rogen grabs the mic. But you can understand Stewart's frustration. If you spend months and months to make a nationally televised event safe—after you had to cancel the IRL Emmys last year—only to have one of the night's first presenters joke that the whole shindig is a health hazard? You'd probably be pissed too.

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